Maryknoll publicly rejects nuclear energy

The leadership of Maryknoll’s three orders -- the sisters, fathers and brothers, and lay missioners -- announced together today that after reflecting with “great care,” they have found that the threats inherent in nuclear energy “far outweigh the benefits.”

The announcement came in a press release this morning from the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, a joint project of the three orders.

Writing that they felt the need to address the use of nuclear energy as governments around world consider building nuclear energy plants as a way to address global climate change, a statement associated with the release says that “Based on the Gospel, the tradition of Catholic social thought, and new insights into the inextricable dependence of humans on the long-term sustainability of the entire community of life, we believe that these threats far outweigh the benefits of using nuclear energy to mitigate global warming.”

As part of the statement, Maryknoll also mentions that their orders’ experience with the issue is “deep and important.”

Referencing the fact that Maryknoll’s headquarters are located in Ossining, New York -- which is “less than 10 miles” away from the Indian Point nuclear power plant, the statement says that:

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"Maryknoll sisters have lived and worked in New Mexico among uranium miners; and Maryknoll missioners have lived in Japan long enough to witness the destructive capacity of nuclear technology in both the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the most recent Fukushima Daiichi accident."

The statement continues:

"From our mission standpoint of promoting peace, social justice and the integrity of creation, we have examined the burden that nuclear energy use inflicts upon present and future generations and have identified multiple serious threats that begin with uranium mining, the front end of the nuclear energy cycle, and end with the problem of “spent fuel” disposal, the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle. We believe that the radiation and proliferation hazards endemic to nuclear energy production breach the safety and security of human life and endanger the integrity of creation."

For Maryknoll's press release on the issue, click here. For the full text of the statement, click here.

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